Two Lessons I've Learned from the Old Testament
You are merciful and forgiving, although we have rebelled against you.
Daniel 9:9 (Good News Translation)
I’ve been reading the Bible through chronologically this year, which means I’ve been camped out in the Old Testament since January.
One of the biggest takeaways? The Israelites were bad. Even the best of them.
Let’s look at the Old Testament heroes.
Noah got drunk and passed out naked.
Abraham lied twice about Sarah being his sister.
Isaac showed favoritism.
Jacob had pagan idols in his house.
Moses killed a man.
Aaron led the people to build an idol.
And we’re not even out of Exodus.
If you want drama, the Old Testament has it. Polygamy. Murder. Jealousy. Adultery. Prostitution. Dysfunctional families. Failure. You name the sin. You’ll find it in the Old Testament.
Yet God still used these men and the heroes that come after them like David, Samson, and Solomon.
Another takeaway? God doesn’t require perfection. He uses sinful people.
That’s good news for us, right?
We don’t have to be perfect, but we do have to repent.
Repentance means turning away from our sin. Repentance is real regret with a commitment to change. If I’m only sorry I got caught, I haven’t repented. If I try to justify my sin, I haven’t repented.
You can read one of David’s prayers of repentance in Psalm 51.
If you wonder if something is really sin, what do you do?
Read and study the Bible. Test everything you hear or read from preachers, radio shows, books, and your friends. The ways that seem right to us aren’t always correct. Proverbs 14:12
Lord, show me my sin, and help me to turn from it. Thank you for your forgiveness.